I take this opportunity to welcome all returning teachers and all new teachers to the 2019 – 2020 school year. I trust that your summer was indeed restful and relaxing, filled with positive adventures and good health. Frankly, you deserve it. The opportunity to refuel over the summer is a necessary component of the important and demanding work that you do. As you begin this new school year, I wish everyone the greatest success as you welcome your students to continue with their educational journeys.
As we all know, the teaching profession is indeed challenging, to say the least. Teacher workload can be unbearable at times. This is especially true if teachers agree to accept more responsibilities than can be successfully managed. So much so that various parts of Canada are experiencing teacher shortages. Nunavut is no exception. It has been and continues to be extremely difficult to fill all the vacant teaching positions with qualified teachers in Nunavut. This is especially true for this school year. Many of our schools will not be fully staffed at the start of this school year. This is all the more reason to ensure that the teachers starting this school year have the supports required to maintain the mental resilience required to successfully manage stressors that will see them through the duration of the year.
Our teachers do much, much more than teach. Teachers are the backbone of the volunteer groups within each of the communities throughout the territory. Unfortunately, a large percentage of our teachers do not have the ability to say no. Teachers rarely say no to the numerous requests made of them. They accept roles and responsibilities that places their work-life balance at risk. I urge all of our teachers to be ever mindful of the need for work-life balance and to continuously focus on one’s mental health.
Rest assured that NTA’s small but mighty staff are here to serve you. Please feel free to call the NTA Office for assistance if and when required.
Best of luck to each of you as you start your new school year.
Executive Director, NTA